© Christophile Konstas 2009
By Elizabeth Ellen
After the farm excursion, we went back to our room to pack up and get ready to head out for the next adventure. Gathering our belongings, we couldn’t help but notice the most wonderful aromas wafting up the stairs. As we head down to settle our bill for room and board, Sharon saw us with our bags and stated, “surely you will join us for lunch!” We all looked at each other unknowingly and between the stutters and giggling we all piped up “sure!”
We dropped our things, and took our usual places at the table watching the cook carefully stoking coals in the brick oven also stationed in the dining room.
As we patiently waited, we quizzed Sharon further on topics such as how her kids were educated, how her family originally acquired the farm, and how often she took the 2-hour drive into town on those rough rocky toads. Her life seemed a million miles away from the lives of us city girls; so hearing about her day-to-day life fascinated us to no end.
Our inquisition was interrupted suddenly as the chef announced that lunch was ready while carrying out steaming bowls one by one and placing them in front of us. “Lamb stew,” he grinned.
My travel companions squealed with delight. Lamb was one of their favorites. I had never had lamb, and had always heard you will feel decidedly one way or another about it as it is a stronger tasting meat. I will happily try anything once, and knew by the expressions as they took their first bite, I too was going to become a fan.
It was divine. The lamb was so tender and fresh, not at all the gamy taste everyone had always warned me about. Opting to use the warm crusty bread placed in front of us as utensils, we tossed our forks and spoons aside and dove in sopping up the delicious sauce with our bread and grabbing the lamb pieces still on the bone tearing the meat off. Included in the stew were the potatoes, carrots and onions, picked from the garden we had just explored! The stew couldn’t have been a more perfect conclusion to the cool crisp weather outside.
As the cook came around to gather our dishes, he laughed at his discovery chiming in, “you liked it!” Looking down at our bowls you would never know anything had been served in them. Blushing, we all shook our heads in agreement with wide eyes. We all had a good laugh and thanked everyone for the wonderful food and hospitality; we felt so lucky to have found such a gem on our travels.
After packing up the car, we came back for final goodbyes, when Sharon exclaimed, “wait, I almost forgot there is just one thing left we must do before you go. I’ll be right back!”